Announcing our Audition and Concert Dates for 2017-2018!

Summer still has a way to go, but the LSO Committee is already planning our 18th season of blending science and music.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, January 21 at 4 p.m. for our next concert, and save the evening of Wednesday, May 2 for our spring concert. Both will be at U-M’s amazing Hill Auditorium.

 

Auditions for this year’s LSO will be held at the U-M School of Music, Theater & Dance building on North Campus on these dates:

Sun. Sept 17:  11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Mon. Sept 18: 6:30 – 10:00 pm

Tue. Sept 19: 6:30 – 10:00 pm

See our Audition Info page for more information and the required excerpts for each instrument.

Rehearsals will begin Sunday, Sept. 24 for those selected for this year’s LSO, and will occur every Sunday evening except for holiday weekends.

Italian Romance: U-M Life Sciences Orchestra plays free concert on Thursday, April 20

Roberto Kalb leads performance of works written in, or inspired by, Italy

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — From the hills of Rome to the villages of Sicily, classical music inspired by Italy will come to life on Thursday, April 20 on the stage of the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium.

That’s when the U-M Life Sciences Orchestra will take the stage for a free 7:30 p.m. performance of works by Italian composers – and a German composer during his time in Italy. The LSO is made up of medical, health and science faculty, staff, students and alumni from across U-M.

The concert, led by Roberto Kalb, is open to the pubic, as is a pre-concert lecture at 6:45 p.m. Kalb will give in the lower level of the building. No tickets are required, though the LSO accepts donations to support its concerts. The concert will begin with opening remarks by Carol Bradford, M.D., M.S., executive vice dean for academic affairs at the U-M Medical School.

First on the program is Giaochino Rossini’s overture to his opera “La Gazza Ladra”, or “The Thieving Magpie”. Assistant conductor Niklas Tamm will lead the LSO for the lighthearted piece, which Rossini wrote under an intense deadline on the day of the first performance of his melodrama about a maid falsely accused of stealing silver.

Next, Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, dubbed the “Italian” symphony for the inspiration that the composer drew from his Grand Tour of the country.

Another piece drawn from Italian opera, Pietro Mascagni’s “Intermezzo” from the opera “Cavalleria Rusticana”, will follow. Composed as an orchestral interlude to a blockbuster opera set in Sicily on Easter, it’s now often performed as a concert work.

The LSO will close out the concert with “Pines of Rome”, a symphonic poem written by Ottorino Respighi in 1924 to evoke four scenes of the ancient city.

Kalb and Tamm are both students in the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s nationally known orchestral conducting program. Kalb holds the Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D. Music Director position with the LSO, made possible by a gift from its namesake, the first U-M executive vice president for medical affairs and a longtime supporter of the LSO.

The orchestra is part of the Gifts of Art program, which brings the world of art and music to Michigan Medicine, the U-M academic medical center. The LSO gives members an outlet for their musical talents and a chance to interact with one another across academic disciplines and professions. The orchestra made its concert debut in January 2001 and plays two free concerts each year.

For information, visit http://lso.med.umich.edu/ or www.facebook.com/umlso, send e-mail to orchestra@umich.edu, or call (734) 936-ARTS.

Mark your calendar for our April 20 Concert: Italian Romance!

The LSO will bring the romance of Italy to life with a free concert on Thursday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Hill Auditorium – mark your calendar today!

The performance will feature three works by Italian composers from the 19th and early 20th centuries, and a symphony begun by Mendelssohn during his European tour in the early 1830s.

Reserve a table at Knight’s Steakhouse downtown and plan to Dine to Donate – a portion of non-alcohol proceeds from your dinner can benefit the LSO if you present a certificate we’ll make available online!

No tickets are required and all ages are welcome. Come early to hear our music director discuss the program in a pre-concert lecture in the lower level of the building.

Local Medical Musicians Operate With A Different Kind Of Instrument: WEMU-FM features the LSO

Whit Froehlich (and his cello), and horn player Kara Gavin, in the studio at WEMU.

Public radio station WEMU-FM, heard on 89.1 FM in the Ypsilant/Ann Arbor Area and online anywhere at www.wemu.org, aired a story about the LSO on Jan. 19.

Cellist and medical student Whit Froelich, and horn player/LSO committee member Kara Gavin, went to the station’s studios to tape the interview, which was woven together with sounds from an LSO rehearsal.

Listen online here

Fire, passion and heroics: U-M Life Sciences Orchestra plays free concert on Jan. 21

Guest conductor Todd Craven leads program of works by Russian composers

ANN ARBOR, Mich. —  The weather outside Hill Auditorium may be frigid, but the music inside will be fiery, passionate and heroic on the evening of Saturday, Jan. 21.

That’s when the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra will take the stage for a free 8 p.m. performance of works by Russian composers. The LSO is made up of medical, health and science faculty, staff, students and alumni from across U-M.

The concert, led by guest conductor Todd Craven, is open to the public, as is a pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m. in the lower level of the Hill Auditorium building. No tickets are required, though the LSO accepts donations to support its concerts.

The concert will begin with Mikhail Glinka’s overture to a 19th century opera, Ruslan and Lyudmila, about the dramatic rescue of a princess by her true love. Assistant conductor Niklas Tamm will led the LSO for the fast and furious piece.

Next up, the Firebird suite by Igor Stravinsky, in its 1919 orchestration, will capture the excitement of a Russian folk tale turned ballet. Alternately frenzied and poetic, the piece evokes the appearance of an enchanted red bird who helps a hero defeat a sorcerer and free trapped creatures.

The program will conclude with Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s stirring, emotional Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74. Popularly known as the Pathétique, a French translation of the Russian word for “passionate” or “emotional”, the symphony was the composer’s last – premiering just over a week before his death.

The LSO’s music director is Roberto Kalb, a doctoral student in the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s nationally known orchestral conducting program. Craven is a graduate, and Tamm a current master’s student, in the program, from which the LSO has drawn its conductors since it began blending science and music in the fall of 2000.

Kalb holds the Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D. Music Director position with the LSO, made possible by a gift from its namesake, the first U-M executive vice president for medical affairs and a longtime supporter of the LSO.

The orchestra is part of the Gifts of Art program, which brings the world of art and music to the U-M Health System. The LSO gives members an outlet for their musical talents and a chance to interact with one another across academic disciplines and professions. Founded by students and staff from the U-M Health System, the orchestra made its concert debut in January 2001.

For more information on the concert or the LSO, visit http://lso.med.umich.edu/  or www.facebook.com/umlso, send e-mail to orchestra@umich.edu, or call (734) 936-ARTS. The LSO will also perform on Thursday, April 20 at Hill.

Halloween Costume Contest fun!

halloween-2016-brass_nOn Sunday, Oct. 23, many orchestra members – and guest conductor Todd Craven – came to rehearsal in colorful Halloween costumes, upholding a longtime LSO tradition.

When the dust had settled on the voting, the brass section won by a single vote in the Group category, for its Heavy Metal costume, and Dr. Jenna Devare’s Minnie Mouse won the individual category by a landslide.

halloween-2016-violasThe viola section, which has traded off the group title with the French horns for several years, made a great showing. Each member of the section dressed as a different composer, whose last name began with one of the letters in “VIOLA”. Cheryl Williams’ typewriter costume (inspired by LeRoy Anderson’s famous piece) garnered two votes of its own.

The oboes and flutes — as Stravinsky and his Firebird, and the Powerpuff Girls, respectively – also won favor. And Todd’s Florida Man, a nod to his role with the New Score Chamber Orchestra in Orlando, was a popular individual choice – but was beaten by Fran Wakefield’s Wonder Woman costume.

See all the great getups in this Facebook post. 

 

Introducing the 2016-2017 LSO, and a conducting update

We’re pleased to announce the 2016-2017 LSO roster, made up once again of faculty, staff, students, volunteers and alumni from a broad spectrum of the U-M life science community. We’re pleased to welcome many new faces, and to welcome back many longtime players.

Read their names here.

This year’s auditions were competitive on nearly all instruments, and we look forward to beginning our rehearsals toward our Saturday night concert at Hill Auditorium on January 21.

This semester, the LSO will be conducted by recent U-M graduate Todd Craven, who earned his master’s in conducting here and is also Principal Conductor of the New Score Chamber Orchestra in
Orlando, Florida and conducting fellow for the Allentown Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. His full biography is here.

Assisting Todd will be Niklas Tamm, a current master’s student in conducting at U-M.

Together, they will fill in for LSO Music Director Roberto Kalb, who will focus on family matters this semester and return to the LSO podium for our April concert.

Roberto has selected three Russian works for the January concert: Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla overture, the 1919 Firebird suite by Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6. 

Welcome to the new LSO season!

Snapchat fun at LSO Auditions

As part of a regular series of “Snapchat takeovers” where students take the reins of the main U-M Snapchat for a short time, LSO violinist Joy Loh captured a series of short videos and photos during her LSO audition.

View the result here!